Every time I asked for recommendations from someone about Austin Texas, they all responded similarly saying That’s a cool city! I was excited to get the chance to visit and although I was only there for about 48 hours, and only explored Downtown Austin, I had a good understanding that it was in fact a cool city!
I love the food scene. Anywhere you go you’ll find something delicious. unlike many Texas cites it’s not all BBQ and meat, you can find plenty of asian food, vegan options and even juice bars so their is something for everyone and healthy options are not hard to find! I love indulging in a delicious meal usually dinner, but I need balance and having a healthier option for my other meals is something that I loved finding. I even tried bulletproof coffee for the first time, and I really enjoyed it!
Below are all my recommendations for Downtown Austin from food, drinks, shopping and where to stay. I really enjoyed Downtown and look forward to expanding my understanding of Austin on my next visit.
Where to stay:
Omni Downtown Austin Hotel is where I stayed. It’s walking distance from the busy Congress Avenue where you will find the majority of delicious spots to eat & drink as well as 2nd street where you can find some good shopping. I enjoyed the gym and bar, especially the tres leche cake!
I will admit that I think on my next visit I will try Hotel Van Zandt. Located near Rainey St. which is the spot to be when you’re looking for a fun night out with friends. Full of restaurants with outdoor patio spots, bars with great drinks and typically music. Seems like a good spot to explore, and although I never made it there I recommend it to anyone visiting Austin!
Where to Eat:
Caroline’s was one of the few places I found for breakfast in Downtown Austin. They also serve lunch & dinner but the breakfast was just wonderful! This is where I tried my bulletproof coffee, they have many options to choose from on the coffee end, and lots of juice and healthy, yummy breakfast options like heirloom tomatoes, eggs and toast! They also have an upstairs rooftop bar that is a great spot to grab a cocktail on a sunny day!
Cooper’s BBQ is something I stumbled upon while in search for something yummy to eat. It is a cafeteria style place, where you walk up and order your meat then your sides and sit wherever yo want with your little red tray, including at the bar to enjoy a local beer or cocktail. I liked the casual atmosphere and friendly service. I also liked that I could order a small amount of meat and not feel completely overwhelmed with food. On the contrary, folks might love that they can order a lot!
Loro is an Asian Smokehouse and outside of Downtown Austin, but goodness is it worth the 15 minute uber over. They have an amazing happy hour with drinks for under $4 and the food is also out of this world delicious! On a sunny day you can enjoy the relaxed park-like feel of the outdoor space, with stumps, swings and benches to sit and enjoy a cocktail with friends. When it is a bit cooler, which it was when I visited at only 60 degrees (I was eating that weather right up!) you can also take a spot at one of the booths, share a picnic-like table in the covered outdoor patio with heaters or pull up a stool at the bar. The service is brilliant, such nice conversation and attention. When I needed something else they knew right away to check in, and even offered me a few coupons since it was my first visit! As a recommendation to me, I found it so great and now I recommend it to you along with their new chicken wings, that kick from the sriracha and the cool combination from that coconut lan sauce, man oh man its mouth watering!
Franklin’s BBQ was recommended to me, but I never made it over unfortunately. This is a BBQ joint where you will stand in line for awhile, but worth it in the end!
Where to Drink:
Cru Food & Wine Bar is a great spot for a good glass/bottle of wine. I enjoyed watching the sunsetting while sitting on their outdoor patio and watching the people pass by. It has a very relaxing environment, and if you want food it seemed to look good as well, although I had eaten already.
Where to shop:
Head to 2nd street. This has a number of shops from local boutiques to places you’ve been before like Urban Outfitters and Bonobos. It is right off of Congress avenue and is a great spot to stroll.